Papa Don’t Preach

My dad and stepmom give me plenty of writing material. Enough material to write a tell-all book. Actually enough material to write three tell-all books. I’ve spent the last few years keeping track of emails he has sent me and notes on phone calls between the three of us in preparation for these novels.

This post, however, is only about a specific instance. Since you don’t know a lot (or anything) about my dad except for the last blog I wrote, it may be hard to put all of this in context, which is why I will help you with subtext.

I don’t know who reads these posts and I am pretty sure that he doesn’t. And truthfully if he did, it might be good for him to understand me and why our relationship is the way it is. The new line in our house is “I’m in therapy, what are you doing?” And that is pretty much how I feel about the chance that he reads this. It can be his therapy.

My stepmom is dying of lung cancer. That is an entirely different story. Don’t be sad or say sorry or anything. That isn’t the point of this story. Let’s take it back a few years (approximately 72 years) to when she should have been diagnosed with some type of mental illness. Now let’s fast forward to the dying part. I am not entirely convinced that her last breathe can happen any minute as her entire life has been a cry wolf situation because of this undiagnosed mental illness.

This brings me to present day when I got the call from my father that my stepmom is going to assisted living to live out the rest of her “very few short days”. And here is the call:

Dad: “oh hey Laura. MI (let’s use that as her name for mental illness) is now in assisted living. they didn’t have a room left at hospice so they are there.”
Me: “give it to me straight. is she dying?”
Dad: “yes, about three months left”
Me: “How are you doing?”
Dad: “I’m tired. I am only getting about 5 hours of sleep per night.”
Me: “That must have been so hard to be alone in the house after all these years for the first time.”
Dad: “Yes. It was hard. I really could have used 8 hours of sleep.”
Me: “So how is she doing?”
Dad: “The doctors want to give her klonopin but she won’t take it. She never will take it.”
Me: “Klonopin is fucking awesome.”
Dad: “I was prescribed it once 13 years ago for a ‘urinary tract infection’ but I didn’t take it either.”
Me: “Uh…ok.”

Stay tuned for my next post on the visit to the assisted living “last breathe” center.
P.S. There was no last breathe yet.





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